Articles by Bob Martin, Senior Pastor

The Antichrist, Christ And The Future

Eternal Life, Life Everlasting, Eternal Security - Which?

Have You Ever Wondered Why No One Had To Teach You
How To Lie?

The Slipping, Shifting, Side Stepping Church or
The Church in Her Relative Position to the World



A Question for real Bible Sharks:

What does the U.N., the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ have in common?

Questions relevant to the above question.

  1. Is the Second Coming of Christ Instantaneous or is it Progressive?
  2. Is there a Secret Second coming in which millions of people just vanish from the face of the earth without a trace?
  3. Are there certain things that must happen before the Second Coming of Christ, or, could He come at any moment?

A. What Events will precede the Coming of the Lord?

For our answers, we simply turn to the pages of scripture.

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

2 Thess 2:1-4 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

So, if words mean anything, and if the Bible is the inspired word of God, and I believe most firmly that it is, then two things must happen before the return of Christ to earth.

  1. The Gospel must be preached to all nations. The Church has thus far failed in that regard, for that has not yet been done.
  2. There will come an apostasy, a falling away of the church before Christ returns. (II Thess 2:1 - 5)  Apostasy is not a catching away as in the rapture, but rather, a falling away as in back-sliding, a loss of first love as with the Church At Ephesus.. It is this luke-warmness of the church that allows the rise of the One World Order with its following cashless society and its One World Church, the end times Whore Church as revealed in Chapter 17 of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  3. The revelation of the Man of Sin, the Antichrist if you will, precedes the second coming of Christ.

Jesus foretold this falling away of the church.

Matt 24:10-12 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

So, we see from scripture, that, before Christ returns (1) The Gospel will have been preached to all nations,  (Matt 24:14), (2) The church will have grown so lukewarm and so backslidden, she will have become apostate to the point that the Antichrist can make his appearance, (II Thess 2:1 - 5) and (3) the Antichrist will have appeared on the stage of the One World Government and will have assumed dictatorial powers over the nations. On August 28th, nearly 2000 religious leaders from around the world met in a United Nations affiliated conference for a four day summit to discuss world peace.

This meeting just preceding as it did, the September 6-8 meeting of over 160 Heads of State meeting for the purposes of discussing a wide variety of issues we are told, to include, but not limited to:(1) A plan for World Governance - another way of saying a One World Order, (2) A plan for a U.N. unified military force to act as a peace keeping agent around the world - another way of saying they plan for a One World Government Military Coalition that will become a standing One World Order Military Force, (3) A plan on how to tax e-mail and international money transfers, - another way of saying they want to control both communications and world commerce.

Make no mistake about it, this Satanic agenda of a One World Order with its resulting loss by nations, including America of their sovereignty is very real, and moving inexorably towards future recognition.

Does the bible speak concerning this end time One World Order of Governance? Indeed it does. Both Daniel Chapter 7 and Revelation Chapter 13 speak very clearly concerning this end times, God opposing, oppressive government of Satan over the lives of men.

World dominion has always been his goal. From the fall of man in Eden to the present, his ambition remains unchanged. Satan even had the gall to offer the Creator of the entire Universe, Jesus, The Christ, the Son of God, The Redeemer of all who will call upon his name, the Kingdoms of the World if Jesus would only submit to him and worship him. (Luke 4:1-13)

B. More as to the when of the return of Christ to planet earth.

To be sure, no one knows the year, month, week, day, hour or second of the return of Christ, but, Jesus Himself gave us some very good insight as to the times in which He would return. Again, lets go to scripture.

Matt 24:29-31 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Again, if words mean anything, Jesus said He would return after the tribulation of those days. For those who try to hold to the Preterist position, that is, that those days refer to the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in 70 A.D., I can find no evidence that there were cosmic disturbances in those days as we just read of in Matthew 24:29. Likewise I can find no evidence that Jesus returned to earth during that time, nor can I find any evidence of a resurrection of the dead at that time.

C. As to His Coming - is it instantaneous or progressive?

Again, lets look at scripture to see if we can get some insight into this matter.

Obviously His appearing is instantaneous, for we read.

Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

However, based again on scripture, we may need to rethink our position on the way He comes. For example:

Acts 1:9-11 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

How did He depart? He progressively departed, ascending into the heavens until the clouds obscured Him from their sight! Angelic messengers from God said He would return in like manner. His going was a progressive departure from their sight. Does not their statement with respect to His coming indicate a progressive coming?

What do we mean by progressive coming? We mean this. That, after His appearance, at which time the dead in Christ are raised, (the resurrection) and the saints which are alive are raptured, caught up to be with Him, then, His coming to earth is a visible, continuous coming for some period of time.  Given the statement by the Angels in Acts 1:9:11, might we not assume that His coming is 
progressive in nature.  Of how long a progressive coming would be we cannot say
with any certainity.

To be sure I Thess 4:16-17 speaks of what we know as the Rapture of the Church. But, nowhere do these scriptures speak of when it occurs.

Read them for yourselves.

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

These verses simply tell what is going to happen, and the order in which the dead are raised and the saved are raptured at the second coming. Well you ask, I have been told that there is a secret second coming in which the dead are raised and the saints are raptured. Again, from the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:29-30, there is nothing secret about His coming. Lets read it again.

Matthew 24:29-30 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

I cannot find one scripture in all the bible indicating a secret rapture.

According to Matthew 24:31 the ingathering (rapture) of the saints occurs when Christ returns, after the apostasy, and after the revelation of the man of sin, the Antichrist.

No secret rapture!

Remember the order in which things occur, according to the scriptures we have already examined..

  1. The return of Christ.
  2. The resurrection of the dead.
  3. The rapture of the saints.

And all of this, after the Man of Sin, The Antichrist is revealed, and is persecuting the church.

II Thessalonians was written to correct the erroneous doctrine in their church concerning whether the second coming had already occurred or whether the coming of Christ was imminent. In this regard, consider if you will the following statements by prominent bible teachers and scholars, both contemporary and older.

Jamieson, Fausett and Brown Bible Commentaries, a standard in the libraries of a multitude of Pastors, states concerning II Thess 2:1-4; that Paul's reason for writing was to address Their Error as to Christ's Immediate Coming - the Apostasy must precede it...

John MacArthur in the footnotes of his study bible, concerning II Thess 2:1-4; The day of the Lord cannot occur until a deliberate abandonment of a formerly professed position, allegiance, or commitment occurs...the language indicates a specific event, not general apostasy which exists now and always will. In other words, the apostasy occurs, and the Man of Sin is revealed before Jesus returns.

The Spirit Filled Life Bible, of which Dr. Jack W. Hayford is the General Editor, states in part concerning II Thess 2:1-4; The primary thrust of II Thess is to correct this error by the clarification that certain indicators-especially a great apostasy and the emergence of the Man of Sin - will precede the day of the Lord.

The Life Application Bible, states concerning II Thess 2:1-4, Then just before Christ's second coming, the man of lawlessness...the man doomed to destruction, a completely evil man, will arise. He will be Satan's tool, equipped with satanic power (II Thess 2:9). This lawless man will be the Antichrist!

Dr. James Oliver Buswell, Jr., Ph.D, Professor of Systematic Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, states concerning II Thess 2:3, It is evident that in the mind of Paul as he writes II Thess 2, as well as the explicit words of Christ in the Olivet discourse, there is to be a very brief, but very terrible time of tribulation between the revelation of the Man of Sin, the abomination , and the moment of the rapture.

Going back further, we note in Matthew Henrys Commentary, with respect to II Thess 2:1-4: In these words the apostle confutes the error against which he had cautioned them, and gives the reasons why they should not expect the coming of Christ; in particular, he tells them there would be...

  1. A general apostasy, there would come a falling away first...
  2. A revelation of that man of sin, that is (v.3.) Antichrist would take his rise from this apostasy...

Professor Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology in the Theological Seminary of Princeton, New Jersey, 1887-1921, writing with respect to The Prophecies of Paul, and with regard to II Thess 2:1-4 states, ...we observe first of all, that although the three things - the apostasy, the revelation of the man of sin, and the coming of the Lord - are brought together, they are not declared to be closely connected, or immediately consecutive to one another.

To summarize briefly, there will first be the apostasy of the church, then the man of sin is revealed, and then Christ returns.

No secret second coming! No secret rapture! And, the church persecuted by the man of sin, the Antichrist. Then Jesus comes, the dead are resurrected, and the saints are raptured.

Revelation 19:11-19 describes the second coming of the Lord.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

Now we have a couple of interesting problems to consider.

  1. How did Antichrist know where to assemble his multi-national army to confront this One coming out of the heavens towards earth, for the scriptures we just read plainly state that is his purpose. (See Rev 19:19)
  2. Unless the coming of Christ is progressive, how did Antichrist have time to assemble his multinational army to try to stop the coming of Christ?

With respect to how Antichrist knew where to expect Christ to come, consider this. How did Herod know where the Christ-child was to be born?

He asked bible scholars of his day. As will the Antichrist.

And they shall undoubtedly tell him of Zechariah 14:4.

Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

As He comes, Jesus is destroying the forces of Antichrist with His Word.

Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

At His coming, the Antichrist along with his false prophet, the head of the one world church is taken and cast alive into the a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20) Satan is then bound and placed in the bottomless pit for one thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-3) Jesus establishes His one thousand year reign on planet earth, ruling the nations with a Rod of Iron from Jerusalem. We, the resurrected and raptured saints of God will rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom. After the thousand year rule of Christ on earth, Satan is once again loosed and goes out to deceive the nations.

Revelation 20:7-9 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Satan is himself cast into the lake of fire and brimstone joining the man of sin, the Antichrist and his false prophet.

Revelation 20:10 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

We then find The Great White Throne Judgment at which time both death and hell will give up all of those claimed by them who were never born again, never saved, those who had all their life rejected Jesus Christ, and who died in that condition, and they stand, small and great before the Judgment Bar of God. The terrible scene of judgment is depicted in Revelation 20:11-15.

Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

No Purgatory! No second chance! Damned and doomed for eternity for having refused Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Interestingly enough, those who are alive, at the coming of Christ and who have not yet been born again, but, who also have not received the Mark of the Beast (economic sanctions imposed by the Antichrist in an attempt to consolidate his power and identify his enemies - the Christians) will have to receive Him in the same manner as those who had previously received Him prior to His coming - that is, by faith.

Not all of the inhabitants of earth during the thousand year rule and reign of Christ will believe that He is the Son of God, and will refuse to submit to Him. Outwardly there may be submission and obedience, but, inwardly, they remain skeptical and resistant to Him. Almost makes you wonder who they actually think He is, and for that matter, who we are, the saints of God in glorified bodies.

For that matter, when Antichrist assembles his forces to try to stop the coming of Christ, (Revelation 19:19) we must ask ourselves, Who or what does he think is coming out of the heavens towards earth? Will some of those on earth during the rule and reign of Jesus consider Him an alien from outer space and those of us who rule with Him as aliens?

Would that explain why, when Satan is loosed from the pit after the thousand years have expired and Christ is on the throne in Jerusalem, so many can be deceived by Satan, and actually try to assault Jerusalem and overthrow the throne of Jesus?

Almost reminds us of the first assault of Satan against God as depicted in Isaiah 14:12-15 - doesn't it?

After Satan loses his last battle with God, and those with him, together they are all cast into the lake of fire, while the redeemed as well as those who submitted to our Lords  will during His one thousand year reign enter into eternity with Him.

Speaking of His government, His Kingdom if you will, the Prophet Isaiah spoke saying:

Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Does this mean that those who submit to the rule of Jesus Christ during His thousand year reign are also then changed into the same type of sinless nature that Adam and Eve were in the original creation, and as such in complete fellowship with God?

 Satan is bound forever and ever, and there is no sin anywhere in the universe? Only humankind with a sinless nature as it was at the beginning, with a new heaven and a new earth?

Does not the bible state that there will be a new heaven and a new earth? It does, most assuredly.

Revelation 21:1-5 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Again, Isaiah 9:7 speaks concerning the never ending, ever increasing, ever expanding Kingdom of God and of His Christ, Jesus!!

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

So then, could it not be that with the curse lifted, the saints of all the ages resurrected and raptured, those who submitted to Jesus during His 1000 year reign sealed into their relationship with Him, humankind with no death, no disease, no resistance to God, Satan bound and in the pit, sin abolished from the universe and an ever increasing, ever expanding, Kingdom of God, God's original purposes in creation are at last fulfilled?

Do we really believe that God would ever allow Satan to win a battle, to thwart God's plan and get away with it? I think not!!

God will have the last word. He always does! I have no doubt that the eternal purposes of God in original creation will eventually be recognized.

But, the bible leaves no doubt that between the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and the death on the cross of Jesus Christ to redeem those among fallen men who would receive Him by faith, and before the second coming of Christ, there will be a one world order, that will become the government of Antichrist. There will be a one world church embracing all the religions of the world with the exception of Christianity. Christians will not be a part of this whore church which is depicted so clearly in Revelation 17.

However the Bible makes it equally clear that, the government of Antichrist cannot occur until the church allows it to happen. It is therefore of the most paramount importance that the church, the Bride of Christ, remain faithful, vigilant, holy and intercede on behalf of the Church on a continuing basis. It is the duty of the church in our day to pass on to the generations to come, the bright flaming torch of the Gospel of Jesus, The Christ and faithfulness to Him and to the Kingdom of God.

There will eventually come a generation that will not remain faithful to Him nor to His Word. That generation will permit through their careless, Godless lifestyle and unfaithfulness to the Word of God - the rise of Antichrist.

May God have mercy upon them as He refines and purifies them through the fires of judgment that must come on that generation to prepare them for heaven. Thus the bible speaks, saying:

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

In what way does the Church, the Bride of Christ, make herself ready? Simple, through repentance! Through confession of her sins, her failure and her unfaithfulness. Thus she will then be ready to be received into her glorious position with Jesus.

The government of Antichrist will eventually come, but, it does not have to come in my generation! Let us remain faithful to Him who has called us and saved us by His own death, burial and resurrection.

Now you know what the United Nations, The Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ have in common.


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